Closing Urban Divides: Behind a Funding Collaborative's Pivot to Race

Closing Urban Divides: Behind a Funding Collaborative's Pivot to Race

Living Cities spent its formative years channeling money from big firms and foundations to community development projects. Now, to drill deeper on equity, it aims to be a “leading racial economic justice organization.” How is that going?

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“We Roll-Up Our Sleeves.” What a Hands-On Giver is Doing to Foster Human Kindness and More

“We Roll-Up Our Sleeves.” What a Hands-On Giver is Doing to Foster Human Kindness and More

Evan J. Segal helped grow his family’s Pittsburgh-based manufacturing business, and now works as an angel investor. Like many philanthropists, he and his wife Tracy are keen to make a difference locally—and do more than just write checks.

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Leveraging Donor Dollars, a Nonprofit Clears Millions in Medical Debt for Low-Income Americans

Leveraging Donor Dollars, a Nonprofit Clears Millions in Medical Debt for Low-Income Americans

A growing number of donors large and small contribute to an organization that’s buying up medical debt on the secondary market and forgiving up to $100 of debt for every dollar it receives in contributions—a sky-high ROI.

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To Build Community Wealth, a Grantmaker Gets Behind Employee Ownership in a Big Way

To Build Community Wealth, a Grantmaker Gets Behind Employee Ownership in a Big Way

Amid a growing critique of how U.S. capitalism has concentrated wealth in ever-fewer hands, the Kendeda Fund is looking to move the idea of employee ownership from the margins to the mainstream and democratize the economy.

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Tax Credits Are Spurring Some Big Gifts in Economically Distressed Cities and Towns

Tax Credits Are Spurring Some Big Gifts in Economically Distressed Cities and Towns

The New Markets Tax Credit program, which was enacted in 2000, can be leveraged by nonprofits to motivate big monetary rewards, including state-wide funds and grants from private foundations. Here’s a case study of how that works.

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Giving to Teach Trade Skills, a Donor Zeroes in on an Overlooked Ladder to Opportunity

Giving to Teach Trade Skills, a Donor Zeroes in on an Overlooked Ladder to Opportunity

Even though electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians earn good incomes, many young people steer away from these career paths, and few funders focus on this promising area. The billionaire Eric Smidt is an exception.

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Filling Critical Gaps, a Foundation Looks to Realize the Promise of Opportunity Zones

Filling Critical Gaps, a Foundation Looks to Realize the Promise of Opportunity Zones

The 2017 tax law included the most important new program to spur urban revitalization in decades. But it’s lacking in transparency and accountability. Kresge has been working to fix that and ensure the law achieves real impact.

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With an Eye on the "Most Vulnerable," a Foundation Works to Ensure that a New Law Boosts the Urban Poor

With an Eye on the "Most Vulnerable," a Foundation Works to Ensure that a New Law Boosts the Urban Poor

The Investing in Opportunity Act has the potential to be a game changer for distressed communities. But that promise can only be realized if the act works as intended—a big “if.” Rockefeller is on the case, along with other funders.

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Powerless: How Top Foundations Failed to Defend Their Values—And Now Risk Losing Everything

Powerless: How Top Foundations Failed to Defend Their Values—And Now Risk Losing Everything

There are many reasons the right is ascendant and conservatives now dominate the Supreme Court. But one part of the story is the abject failure of mainstream foundations to fight back against a decades-long attack on everything they cherish.

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Venture for America: What Donors See in a Nonprofit That Backs Young Entrepreneurs

Venture for America: What Donors See in a Nonprofit That Backs Young Entrepreneurs

With a mission of backing young entrepreneurs far away from Silicon Valley and the Northeast Corridor, VFA has drawn growing support from major companies like Uber and UBS, as well as individual donors who play a hands-on role in its work.

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Boots on the Ground: How Corporate Foundations Are Supporting Veterans

Boots on the Ground: How Corporate Foundations Are Supporting Veterans

Supporting veterans has become a hot topic in the corporate foundation world. What’s driving this heightened attention? Where are grants going? And what approaches to lifting up former service personnel are showing results?

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“If You Want to Go Far, Go Together." In Connecticut, an Ambitious Collective Impact Push

“If You Want to Go Far, Go Together." In Connecticut, an Ambitious Collective Impact Push

A new fund quarterbacked by a community foundation is aiming to close opportunity gaps from “cradle to career.” The initiative has a strong focus on building the capacity of local funders to have greater impact in a state with deep inequities.

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Local Efforts to Scale up Impact Investing in Affordable Housing Are Gaining Steam

Local Efforts to Scale up Impact Investing in Affordable Housing Are Gaining Steam

Two top community foundations have recently gotten behind public-private efforts to ease the housing squeeze. And a Seattle nonprofit is crowdfunding affordable housing investments. Can this new wave of local investing move the needle?

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To Crack the Poverty Code, a Big Bet on Data-Driven Interventions to Fuel Upward Mobility

To Crack the Poverty Code, a Big Bet on Data-Driven Interventions to Fuel Upward Mobility

Data is at the center of a project to design city-level economic mobility programs backed by Bloomberg, Gates, and Ballmer. But with ten cities selected and ready to develop their ideas, is this technocratic model likely to achieve lasting impact?

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Up Against Wall Street: How This Little-Known Hedge Funder Backs Financial Reform

Up Against Wall Street: How This Little-Known Hedge Funder Backs Financial Reform

Despite the devastation caused by the 2008 crash, financial sector reform isn’t a priority for most funders. Michael Masters has bucked that trend, bankrolling one of the few policy shops in D.C. able to go toe-to-toe with industry lobbyists.

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Corporate Funders Flock to This Community Foundation's Housing Investment Fund

Corporate Funders Flock to This Community Foundation's Housing Investment Fund

More community foundations are getting behind impact investing, often with housing on the agenda. Recently, the Foundation for the Carolinas has attracted major corporate backing with a fund designed to boost affordable housing in the region.

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Inside the New Billionaire War on Poverty

Inside the New Billionaire War on Poverty

In the past few years, some of America’s richest mega-givers have backed new work targeting poverty. Who’s giving? What approaches are receiving support? And will these donors eventually take a more systemic approach to fixing an unequal economy?

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Who’s Making Grants to Help Opportunity Zones Realize Their Promise?

Who’s Making Grants to Help Opportunity Zones Realize Their Promise?

The 2017 tax law created more than 8,700 zones around the U.S. with the goal of attracting new investment to poor areas. Now, funders like Mastercard and Rockefeller are stepping up to help communities get capital flowing.

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He Became a Billionaire Selling Tools. Now He’s Boosting Skilled Trade Education in High Schools

He Became a Billionaire Selling Tools. Now He’s Boosting Skilled Trade Education in High Schools

Eric Smidt started the discount hardware store Harbor Freight Tools at 17 with his dad in 1977. Now worth $3 billion, his emerging philanthropy is laser-focused on helping high school students prepare for good-paying jobs in the trades.

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